British Columbia

Canadian mom Alison Azer locates missing children in Middle East, family confirms

A Vancouver Island mother has reportedly located her four children who were allegedly abducted by her ex-husband and taken to the Middle East this summer.

International search was launched after 4 children failed to return from trip to Europe with father

Mother Alison Azer, holds Meitan as her other children Sharvahn, left to right, Dersim and Rojevahn pose for a family photo taken before they disappeared. (Alison Azer/The Canadian Press)

Alison Azer, a Vancouver Island mother, has located her four children who were allegedly abducted by her ex-husband and taken to the Middle East this summer, according to a family member.

"I can confirm that Alison now knows the location of the children," Azer's niece Kate Jeffery told CBC News Tuesday morning.

"That is in large part to the social media efforts and also to a news report shot in Canada and broadcast in the region." 

"We know where they are, but they are not with Alison yet. We are still waiting to get them home and get them into Alison's arms, " she said. "This is a very important first step."

While the family is not revealing exactly where the children are, Jeffery says diplomatic efforts by the Canadian government and Kurdish officials are now underway to recover them, with her ex-husband allegedly refusing to release them.

The four children — Sharvahn, 11, Rojevahn, 9, Dersim, 7, and Meitan, 3 — where reported missing after they were legally allowed to travel to France and Germany with their father in early August, but did not return as scheduled.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of their father Saran Azer, a Comox Valley doctor of Kurdish descent, who was known for volunteering to provide humanitarian aid in Iraq to Syria.

Alison Azer said she believed her ex-husband took their children to the Middle East, likely northern Iraq, where ongoing conflicts with Islamic State fighters have forced many people from their homes.

The warrant sparked an international search and the four children were listed as missing on Interpol's website.